Andrey
Adamovich Roller

Russia • 1805−1901

Andreas Leonhard Roller (in Russia it was called Andrei Adamovich) was born in Regensburg (Germany) in a theatrical family: his father was a famous driver of the stage, uncle accompanist, brothers – theatrical artists. Education got together at the Academy of fine arts and the Polytechnic Institute of Vienna. From 1822 he worked as a machinist scenes in the theatres of Vienna, Munich, Dresden and Berlin. It was in Berlin that finally emerged artistic signature. The strongest influence on him acquainted with the great German architect and designer Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841), clearly visible even in the later works of the Roller. In 1834, already a famous artist of the romantic academic school, an experienced set designer, a master of stage effects, he was invited to serve in Russia. We can say that with Roller Russian theater has entered into the unified European system of staging: the sets of the Imperial theatres of St. Petersburg and Moscow from the time virtually indistinguishable from the productions of other European theatres. Over 38 years of work in Russia, the artist has produced machines and decorations 63 78 ballets and operas, was first shown on the Russian stage moving scenery and the so-called "breakup (collapsing in front of the audience) with the Assembly". Roller was the first designer Russian operas – and Verstovsky, Glinka.

In 1862 he designed the premiere of Verdi's Opera "Force of destiny". The scenery was made in the traditional rocker-arched system, with the bulk items in the center, according to the laws of the Grand style. On the stage were built up to 8 scenes, there were many items of furniture, props, and backdrops were complemented by boxy constructions, dangling and moving praticable, creating a romantic atmosphere, supported by the dark Gothic interiors, rocky lunar landscapes and colourful paintings of the military camp. The artist created the effects of the storm, the illusion of rain, storms in accordance with the spirit of the last of Verdi's "melodrama in its purest form." The design was enthusiastically received by the audience and like most of Verdi, who even suggested to transfer it to Covent garden. Having had a brilliant career in Russia and lived here most of his life, in 1873 Roller adopted Russian citizenship. He founded the class of perspective painting at the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of arts and was its leading Professor.

Died in St. Petersburg in 1901.

(Elena Fedosova)

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